Archive for the ‘Staff Corner’ Category
Sunday, March 10th, 2013
Beverly Hills Egg Donation is pleased to announce an exciting new tool to assist intended parents in their search for their ideal egg donor.
Beginning today, BHED is one of a select few organizations in the fertility industry with access to advanced facial recognition software that will enable intended parents to select a donor who bears the most physical resemblance to them.
Based on a photo that the intended parent provides to BHED, the 3D software from Precision Donor constructs a virtual topographical map of the intended parent’s features. That map is compared to all of the registered donors in the BHED database using a sophisticated three-part process of measurement, surface texture analysis, and vector templating. A list of the best matches for the intended parent’s physical features is produced. Neither the intended parent’s nor the donor’s photos are stored on the server involved with this process, the photos are purged as soon as the mathematical mapping is complete.
This highly accurate software is similar to that used by elite government agencies including the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
The service is only available in conjunction with an in-person or Skype consultation. The cost of the consultation, and the use of BHED’s groundbreaking new service, is $500, which is deducted from the agency fee when a donor is selected and the agency agreement is signed.
To schedule a consultation, please call us at (310)601-3132.
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
When you finally make your decision and choose an egg donor it is totally natural to want to get started right away. Many recipients are anxious to find out what they can do to move the cycle along. Unfortunately, when a match is made, often it is the donor who has the most to do. All donors will meet with your doctor, have bloodwork done, and new donors will have their psychological and genetic counselor interviews.
For intended parents–there is mostly just waiting. One thing that intended parents can do right away is contact their attorney and let them know that they are in cycle with a new egg donor, or research and retain an attorney if they don’t have one. Choosing an attorney to draft your agreement is very important. You want to work with someone who specializes in reproductive law. Your attorney will be drafting the contract between you and your donor and for your protection you want that to be iron clad. It is well worth your money to work with an attorney who does all of their work in reproductive law.
Speaking of cost–how much will it cost? The average price for a contract is between $750.00 and $1000.00. Some attorneys will offer re-drafting options as well. Once retained, your attorney will write the contact and review it with you. this can all be done as they cycle is beginning. After your donor’s first visit to the doctor the contract (with your approval) will be sent to your donor’s attorney who will review it with your donor, clarify any questions that she has, and request any changes on her behalf.
Once everyone is happy, the contract is signed and you’re ready to go. Ideally all of the timing will work out perfectly and the contract will be done shortly before your donor starts medication. BHED (Beverly Hills Egg Donation) has a great list of reproductive lawyers available upon request.
Monday, August 27th, 2012
If you’re registered as an egg donor, getting a new tattoo becomes a decision that can have a much bigger affect than you’d ever anticipated. For a potential recipient who has spent weeks pouring over donor profiles (and sometimes thousands of dollars on previous failed IVF cycles), only to fall in love with their perfect match, news that their ideal donor has gotten a tattoo from an unlicensed facility can be devastating.
All of this can be avoided if you keep in mind that potential donors cannot donate their eggs if they’ve had a tattoo or body piercing within the past six months to a year. The only exception to this rule is if you can provide written and signed proof that your tattoo or piercing was administered at a state-regulated facility, using a sterile technique. Even then, however, some doctors will still require that donors wait eight weeks before donating – one clinic still requires donors to wait the full 12 months! To make things even more complicated, the official regulations vary from state to state, and only 32 states even have such regulations. If you choose to have your tattoo or piercing administered in a state that does not enforce regulations, you can be sure that you’ll be in for an extremely long wait before you’re finally able to donate.
If you’re serious about wanting to donate and help a family in need, Beverly Hills Egg Donation recommends that you hold off on any plans for a new tattoo or piercing until after you’ve completed your donation cycle(s).
Friday, February 17th, 2012
BHED Managing Partner Robyn Perchik was honored to attend this year’s Family Equality Council awards dinner honoring Prop 8 opponent Chad Griffin. Celebrating 30 years in 2012, Family Equality Council connects, supports, and represents LGBT parents in the United States and the two million children they’re raising. The evening’s honoree – Chad Griffin – has been a powerful voice in the struggle for marriage equality, advocating for its recognition as a right and privilege that is essential for LGBT parents to fully protect and nurture their families.
Monday, January 23rd, 2012
When the year of the dragon – considered the luckiest Chinese lunar year – kicked off today, it brought with it more than the traditional Chinese New Year celebrations. It also heightened the stakes for Chinese couples eager to have “dragon babies.”
Today’s Wall Street Journal features top fertility companies – including BHED – in a front page article that explores the recent surge in Chinese and Chinese-American couples undergoing egg donation and IVF treatments in hopes of having a child in the year of the dragon. According to the WSJ, “Chinese often schedule important life events to take advantage of the luckiest times [...] even though births are trickier to plan, in 2000, the most recent year of the dragon, 202,000 babies were born in Taiwan than a year earlier.” BHED Managing Partner, Robyn Perchik, was interviewed for the piece – noting the huge surge in contracts signed for Chinese egg donors in recent months as compared to the same period last year.
Check out the full article here:
Having a Baby in Year of the Dragon Is Too Lucky to Be Left to Chance
Monday, January 16th, 2012
BHED Managing Partner Robyn Perchik spoke to “The Fight” magazine about our role in helping same-sex couples create or add to their families.
Check out the article in the magazine’s December issue!
Friday, October 7th, 2011
Lauren #12692 is 26 years old and lives in the greater Los Angeles area. She is available immediately and is very excited to help a recipient grow their family. Her personal essay is below.
“I am a middle child and only girl in my family. While most people think that means that it resulted in heavy brotherly and fatherly protection, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Being the only girl I learned to take care of myself, because I was outnumbered and not to mention the middle child. I think I always felt I had something to prove whether it was keeping up with the boys or being just as good as them in sports or hobbies. It most definitely gave me confidence and competitiveness.
Family is something I’m so proud to be a part of. My parents did such a great job showing us how lucky we are to have siblings and that we are all so loved. My childhood is a direct reflection as to what I want when I’m older, and I have my parents to thank for that. I look up to my parents a lot. When I think of all that they sacrificed for us it makes me realize how much you’re willing to do for your kids. They worked hard so that all three of us could have a private school education. They encouraged us to have extracurricular activities in music and sports and took us camping multiple times a year. I never thought growing up that I would want to be like them but now I enjoy doing all the things they instilled in us, like a passion for backpacking and hiking, football (my San Diego Chargers), music, art, fashion and being involved in my church and community.
I started volunteering at my church’s Sunday School, and I’m almost certain that’s where I fell in love with children and knew I was meant to be a mother. I continued to volunteer with children all throughout my schooling. That naturally lead me into babysitting as I got older and then becoming a certified nanny and volunterring at my pediatrician’s office.
I don’t think that every woman is born with a maternal instinct. I do know that I have it. And I do know that I can’t wait to have kids. And I have personal experience with friends who want kids but can’t have them. I can’t think of anything that would make me more heartbroken than coming to the realization that I could not have kids. It’s so amazing how far science has come in making things possible that were once so discouraging or seemed like the end of the road for some couples. I can’t imagine a better gift to someone than helping them have what I want more than anything.”
- Lauren #12692
Tuesday, September 27th, 2011
At Beverly Hills Egg Donation, we’ve always been committed to providing a supportive, personalized experience for our intended parents. But we recently took steps to make that experience even better by creating a new position for our longtime Cycle Coordinator, Ellie Goldman. Ellie is now BHED’s Director of Client Services.
So what difference does that make? Actually, a great deal. Ellie is an experienced and caring partner who is there for our intended parents from beginning to end, joining forces with them from the moment they contact BHED and seeing them through the entire process of choosing a donor.
You might wonder how Ellie and BHED work differently than other egg donation agencies. Many of them operate strictly as a business: intended parents pick their donor, send their payment, and the agency forwards the donor’s profile to the doctor. It’s impersonal and clinical at a time when intended parents are craving feedback, support and empathy.
At BHED, we don’t want our intended parents to feel like a cog in the wheel of a business transaction. On the contrary: our intended parents are the captains of a team of players whose ultimate shared goal is the creation of a baby. And Ellie is both team manager and head cheerleader, working with our intended parents to reserach and consider prospective donors, communicate questions and requests to donors of interest, and provide support. And if an intended parent desires a more personal connection to his or her donor, BHED is happy to host conference calls, Skype video chats, or face-to-face meetings between the parties, while still ensuring that everyone’s anonymity is protected.
We know that the egg donation process can be overwhelming and anxiety provoking for intended parents. Our goal is to lessen that anxiety rather than add to it. We never want an intended parent to feel rushed into making a decision; in fact, 99 percent of the work Ellie does with and for intended parents happens before BHED is paid. While some intended parents know exactly which donor they want, others may need to take their time during the selection process. At no point will an intended parent feel any pressure to make a decision any faster than is comfortable. There is no time limit at BHED, and we do not ask for payment until our intended parents have chosen a donor and we have confirmed that she is ready to be matched. It is critical to us that by the time intended parents choose a donor and sign our agency agreement, they feel 100 percent confident moving forward not only with their donor, but with us.
At BHED, we are keenly aware that this process can be an isolating one, especially for intended parents who live abroad, far from their donor and doctors. Ellie’s new Director of Client Services position was created expressly for the benefit of our intended parents so that they have a dedicated team member who is always available for questions, feedback, and support.
Friday, September 23rd, 2011
While it may seem logical to assume that “more is more” in terms of increasing your chances of getting matched for a donation, registering with multiple agencies can actually work against you — and lead to a host of problems down the road when and if you do get chosen by a couple.
At BHED we ask all of our active donors to sign an exclusivity policy before being added to our database, in which the donor agrees not to register with, or commit to a donation through, any outside agency or clinic during her first six months with us. We adopted this policy after years in the industry and countless conversations with intended parents, doctors, and colleagues about the issues that come up when a donor is registered with more than one agency. We know that our donors are eager to get matched and help a couple in need (and the sooner the better!), but our clients have frequently told us that they’re very uncomfortable seeing donors listed on multiple websites and often shy AWAY from booking those donors who seem to be spreading themselves too thin. Beyond that, we’ve had clients who have gone to reserve a particular donor for a cycle to start right away, only to find out that she’s already accepted a match elsewhere and is – in reality – not available for several months. For intended parents who have spent weeks, months, and often longer searching for their perfect donor, this can be incredibly disappointing.
Of course, if a donor hasn’t been matched through BHED by the time her exclusivity policy expires we completely understand that she may want to register elsewhere. After six months, donors are free to sign up with one outside organization provided they notify us in writing and inform us within 24 hours of accepting an outside match.
Donors can always feel free to contact a member of our staff with any questions or concerns about this policy. As always we appreciate your commitment to our program and look forward to working with you to help create a family.
Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
You love your doctor — you’ve been with him for a long time, completely trust him, love the staff, etc. — and have just found a great egg donor who you’re ready to book. The only issue? She lives out of town. Or — even scarier — out of state. What do you do? You’re confident that she’s the donor for you, and she’s said she’s willing to travel for a donation, but how would that even work? Do you book her travel? Does the agency? And how is all of this going to affect your overall budget for the cycle?
BHED facilitates travel cycles all the time. In fact, 20 to 30 percent of our matches involve some travel on the donor’s part. For clarity: a travel cycle, in the egg donation world, is when your donor is required to travel more than 75 miles (one way) from her home to your doctor’s office. That means a donor coming from San Diego to Los Angeles is considered a travel donor just as much as one traveling from Chicago to San Francisco (although, of course, the coordination and cost differ significantly).
If your donor is traveling a “short” distance (one that requires automobile travel rather than air), BHED’s travel policy requires the recipient to reimburse the donor for mileage at the current government rate. Your doctor will definitely want her to come to town for her initial appointment, retrieval, and likely a couple of monitoring appointments once she’s started medication — although your BHED coordinator will also set the donor up with a local monitoring facility to cut down on the travel and associated costs. As long as your doctor approves (and most are happy to do so), your donor can do some or many of her check-ups in her hometown; that facility will coordinate with your doctor and follow your clinic’s protocol.
It’s a similar story if your donor is coming from farther away (i.e. out of state). Your doctor will want her to be in town for her initial appointment, and then again for five to seven days leading up to the retrieval. The first trip will be very brief and often doesn’t require an overnight stay. Your donor will fly in, take a cab to your clinic for her appointment, and then head back to the airport to travel home. Your BHED coordinator will then set her up with a local facility (which, again, will coordinate with your doctor’s office) for her monitoring appointments and she’ll be able to do much of the remainder of the cycle from her hometown. The second trip will happen between day three and five of the donor’s stim process, and from there she’ll stay in town through her retrieval. For this trip, she’ll need a companion to accompany her to make sure that she gets back to her hotel safely after her retrieval and is well taken care of.
BHED doesn’t add any additional fees to coordinate travel — it’s all included in your agency fee. Your coordinator will take care of everything, from booking the donor’s flight and hotel to ensuring that she has adequate ground transportation to get to your doctor’s office and facilitating communication between your clinic and the donor’s remote facility. Working with a travel donor will generally add approximately $3,000 to $4,000 to the total cost of the cycle. This includes the donor’s flights, ground transportation, hotel stay for the longer trip, and a per diem of $50 per day, along with the flight and per diem for her companion for the retrieval trip. Your coordinator will book everything directly and will work to find the most cost-effective accommodations possible (while still keeping the donor comfortable).
While travel cycles do require more coordination, we try to make things as easy as possible for both the donor and the recipients. Our staff will work with your doctor to facilitate the cycle, whether your donor is coming from across town or from 3,000 miles away, and will keep you informed with regular updates as things progress. Feel free to contact us directly if you have any questions about working with one of our out-of-town (or local!) donors.